Fusarium wilt

Economically important, widespread disease caused by several Fusarium spp. Causes plant wilt in a lager range of crops

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  • Caused by several types of Fusarium oxysporum and close relative species, such as Fusarium foetens
  • These soil-borne pathogens are often host specific eg  F. oxysporum f. sp. Lactucae causes wilt in lettuce
  • Can survive in soil for many years as resting structures - chlamydospores
  • Easily transmitted - pathogens can spread through water splash, planting equipment, infected transplants and seeds
  • Develops faster at high temperatures

Damage caused

  • Infection starts in the roots and blocks plant vessels – disrupting water transport
  • Vessels turn black and are visible when cutting through the stem or crown
  • Main symptom is wilting – others include chlorosis, necrosis, premature leaf drop, stunting and damping-off


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